Newsletter 5 April 2013

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 5 April 2013 | Your weekly food industry news and insights…                                                                 
SmartStuff:   “Goals are like stepping-stones to the stars. They should never be used to put a ceiling or a limit on achievement.” Denis Waitley

Sensient Food Colors

Editor’s Stuff: Fighting corporations is a lot easier than fighting genetics!
I love my job! How privileged to spend my working days researching the dynamics of the ever-fascinating food industry, and the multitude of factors that influence it. It’s always particularly rewarding to find ‘stuff’ that upsets the apple cart, that challenges the common wisdom and uncovers the myths behind widely believed ‘truths’. Breakthrough articles, opinions and thinking.
Appropriately enough, this week I found just such a piece of writing, in a progressive policy journal and website, called, yes, Breakthrough.
This brilliant article challenges the prevailing anti-food orthodoxy in the debate over obesity. It’s a well-argued takedown of the food-police approach to the issue, essentially concluding that, “against the current popular discourse, obesity is better understood as an unintended consequence of affluence than as a disease epidemic. It is not going to be eradicated like polio but rather managed more or less well”.
Why should you read it? Because it’s an intelligent, well-written and highly interesting exposition of the ‘obesity epidemic’, and the role of public health and anti-food activists who largely blame, you, food industrialists, as responsible for the world’s burgeoning waistlines.


Enjoy this week’s read!

  • Brenda Neall: publisher & editor
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Kerry Citrus

  Local News and Developments
A Bill restricting alcohol advertising is likely to be presented to Cabinet next week, Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi announced on Tuesday night.
The names of retailers whose meat was sampled to determine its actual ingredients will be handed over to the Red Meat Industry Forum and Media 24, according to reports today.
Leading wine and meat academics at Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of AgriSciences have been appointed to two prestigious new research chairs, part of the South African Research Chair Initiative (SARChI). One of them is Prof Louw Hoffman, much in the news recently over the meat labelling saga.
In case you missed it: 
The four-year old HealthyFood campaign by Discovery, the country’s largest health insurer, demonstrates that consumers who are given rebates on fruits, vegetables, and other nutritionist-approved foods quickly change their dietary habits. Healthful eating, it appears, just makes good cents.

 International News & Developments
Mondelez CEO Irene Rosenfeld enjoys pay climb soar
Following the successful spin-off of the company’s North American grocery business in October, Mondelez International CEO Irene Rosenfeld saw her total compensation increase 31.5 percent during 2012, from $21.9 million to $28.8 million. That’s R265-million!
It is where footballers earning £25,000 a week are frequently to be found after training. It is the dining option of choice for actors, home-grown rap singers and superstars such as Rihanna, Britney Spears and Lewis Hamilton. It is the favourite restaurant of teenagers, of all colours and religious persuasion. It is particularly popular with young black Britons… the ambulance, police and fire services and NHS workers like it because they get a 20 per cent discount. It is the guilty pleasure for people who would shudder to be seen in McDonald’s or – heaven forbid – KFC… In short, Nando’s seems to be Britain’s favourite restaurant. How did that happen?
A large chunk of the growth in the beverage category in North America over the next decade will come from products in categories that do not even exist today, predicts Coca-Cola’s Venturing & Emerging Brands (VEB) team, headed by SA-born, Deryck van Rensburg.
Nestlé Nescafé, the brand that started as an idea to solve the problem of what to do with unsold coffee, is celebrating its 75th anniversary and its position as one of the world’s favourite drinks. Today more than 5 500 cups of Nescafé instant coffee are consumed every second with different varieties catering to different tastes and preferences around the globe.
Just 9% of the millions of tonnes of fish caught by China’s giant fishing fleet in African and other international waters is officially reported to the UN, and shows the extent of the looting of Africa, say researchers who are using a new way to estimate the size and value of catches.

 Food Trends, Innovation and Marketing
A new brand that’s rocketed from zero to £44-million in sales within three years and is helping redefine a category, and an old brand that has found growth by using an approved health claim to connect to one of the biggest consumer needs – these two cases illustrate the way the breakfast category is being redefined and provide key lessons for any company.
Lunchtime, suppertime: any time is teatime at a growing number of top restaurants as chefs encourage diners to swap that glass of something for a nice cuppa. Restaurateurs are hailing tea as the new wine, claiming Britain’s national drink is better suited to bring out the flavour of their dishes than many reds or whites.
Packaging awards news from the US… Kraft Food’s YES Pack has won top honours in the country’s Flexible Packaging Association’s 2013 Flexible Packaging Achievement Awards.
In case you missed it: Snack food, star appeal
When it comes to advertising, celebrity endorsements mean more than you think. A new study looking at Gary Lineker’s appeal as celebrity spokesman for Walkers potato crisps has unveiled some astonishing findings behind this type of food marketing.

 QPro International

 Food Science, Technology and Ingredients Stuff

The fundamental challenge of the pet food professional is to balance the wants and needs of pets with those of their owners. The two are often at odds. For instance, pet foods come in a variety of flavours because that’s what humans like, and we assume pets like what we like. We’re wrong.
US flavour company, DD Williamson, recently researched the impact of colour on flavour perception – and the findings yet again confirm that the eyes play a major role in taste.

Novel method uses nanobiotech to kill pathogens instead of antibiotics or chemicals

Nanobiotechnology incorporating enzymes and nanoparticles is an alternative to antibiotics and chemicals in the battle against foodborne disease, according to research. 
Researchers ask: What’s left to discover about trans fats?
Further research on artificial trans fat and heart health is not necessary, claim the authors of a new review – but there is a need for more research in several other areas related to trans fat.

US: Dannon took two years to win 25% Danimals Smoothies sugar cut

Dairy giant Dannon (Danone) says it spent two years reformulating its Danimals Smoothies for kids in the US to achieve a 25% sugar reduction, as Mintel predicts strong growth for kid-friendly yoghurt drinks with health and wellness benefits for ‘years to come’. 
In case you missed it: Why do people believe scientifically untrue things?
You hear a lot about the politicisation of science, but the real problem is the moralisation of science. New studies make a compelling case that moral differences drive partisan debates over scientific issues, suggesting that what you believe about a scientific debate signals to like-minded people that you are on their side and are therefore a good and trustworthy person. Unfortunately, this means that the factual accuracy of beliefs is somewhat incidental to the process of moral signalling.

 Health and Nutrition Stuff
In seeking solutions to counter the obesity crisis, many experts from the scientific community and the food industry have shifted their attention to satiety. “Appetite is an important determinant of food intake and is composed of two related but distinct elements: satiation and satiety,” says Cathy Arnold, senior formulation scientist for Fortitech.
More on arguably the hottest topic of the year… The anti-sugar forces turn their attention from HFCS to fructose, even at the expense of fruit consumption.
Consumers see a lot of value in organic foods and new research has found that those shoppers are willing to pay a great deal more for that value.
There’s no such thing as a ‘miracle food’ say experts
Researchers and global media should better consider the validity of single scientific studies that report on supposed ‘miracle foods’, in addition to considering that people do not eat foods or nutrients in isolation, say researchers.
A growing movement seeks to reproduce the hunter-gatherer lifestyle: running barefoot, pondering polygamy, relying on a diet of meat. But even our ancestors never lived this way. And besides, modern humans have evolved.
Strong new biochemical evidence exists showing that sorghum is a safe food for people with celiac disease, who must avoid wheat and certain other grains, scientists are reporting. Their study, which includes molecular evidence that cereal grain lacks the proteins toxic to people with celiac disease, appears in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
A growing body of evidence suggests that all the antibacterial-wiping, germ-killing cleanliness of the developed world may actually be making us more prone to getting sick — and that a little more dirt might help us stay healthier in the long run.

 Weird, Whacky & Wonderful Stuff
TED, the non-profit organisation and website devoted to ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’, recently released its 2013 list of 10 “Ads Worth Spreading,” which recognises innovative and intelligent advertising people want to see and share with friends. Among them, and the only one in the food-bev sectors, is Coca-Cola’s awesome ‘Security Cameras’ ad, a sweet reminder that while security cameras around the world capture some of the lowest moments in human behaviour – they also capture some of the most beautiful.

Food bites…2013: It’s very hard to make people thin…

“OBESE people are choosing to eat the food that makes them fat – choosing from among an array of affordable, low calorie options.  Why?  Because they are hungry and it tastes good.  That doesn’t mean that I think obese people are weak, or ‘don’t care about keeping themselves healthy’.  Weight seems to be largely genetic – it’s highly correlated in families, and very highly correlated in identical twins.  Obviously, something in our environment has activated those genetics, of course, but it’s not a matter of personal virtue; it’s a matter of how much your body wants to weigh.

   “But though overweight people are choosing what to eat in the face of genetic differences in hunger and metabolism, that doesn’t mean we can say that they are not making a choice – that in some sense, they would really like the rest of us to take away their pasta and keep them on a diet of cabbage and carrots.  Nor that they are victims of a broken food distribution system, or advertising mind control.  People are finding and buying the food that they eat out of an array of low calorie options. Any public health crusade which fails to grapple with this central fact is doomed to fail.”

Megan McArdle, journalist with The Daily Beast, commenting on Breakthrough‘s obesity article
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Brenda NeallPublished weekly as part of, this newsletter is a cherry-picking, agglomerating service for all food and beverage industrialists. It aims to be topical, insightful, provocative, intelligent… fast, fresh and full of additives!
FOODStuff SA, stuff about FMCG food-bev manufacture from farm gate to retail shelf, is published and edited by Brenda Neall. You can contact her at: [email protected]